Five 49ers with most to risk in 2017 season

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Jed York speaking at a 49ers press conference

Soon the 49ers training camp will begin and we’ll focus on players competing for starting jobs or spots on the final roster.

But there are five people who tower over those training-camp competitions, five people with more on the line than everyone else. Here are those five people.

Click here to read my Thursday column.

This article has 210 Comments

      1. Enjoyed the power analogy!

        I’d def go All-In with pocket 8’s if I had to. Chance of hitting trips or a boat go way up

        1. Thanks!

          Usually a good move to go all in with a decent pocket pair, especially if you’re short-stacked.

          1. How do 2 smart football men, taking over a broken franchise, with freshly inked 6 year contracts, stand the most to lose in their very first year rebuilding a team that most experts expect to finish last in their own division?

            Ludacris!

            1. Good point. In Grant’s world, most everyone is at risk–except those he’s smitten with.

              We should find a way to chart Grant’s take on things across training camp, preseason, and the regular season.

              1. I’d agree with 2 out of Grant’s 5 – Hoyer & Saleh.
                Jed bought himself a 2 year reprieve.

                The rest of the list should look like this:

                2) Navorro Bowman – Unfortunately, football can be a cruel and punishing game. It’s often a young man’s game. A major knee injury followed up by a ruptured achilles tendon won’t be easy to overcome. Nobody doubts Bow’s courage, leadership, or personal drive to be the best player he can be. However, if he’s lost another step, or his body continues to break down, his career will be quickly winding down.

                3) Carlos Hyde – He’s a beast when he’s healthy, but his relentless style has made him injury prone. He’s on a contract year, and if he gets outplayed by one of the young studs breathing down his back, or misses more games due to injury, his next contract won’t be anything to celebrate, considering his potential.

                5) Arik Armstead – Another first round pick brimming with talent, who’s yet to reach his potential. After offseason surgery to correct a nagging shoulder injury, regardless of the scheme, he’s going to run out of excuses if he doesn’t have a breakout year.

                Honorable mention: Eric Reid, Dontae Johnson

      2. I loved te poker analogy.

        I think they will 7-9 or 9-7 if we get a few good bounces we might be okay. Got to start off fast. Win the first two games and get the Seahawks off our back.

          1. Of course, I will root for the 49ers to win as many games as possible. One of the good bounces that they will need is to not have many injuries. Winning too many this year could set us up for disappointment in the long haul because we won’t get to draft early enough to get a potential franchise QB. Expectations will be raised considerably. Year 2 could present a much tougher schedule and significantly more injuries Winding up 4-12 or 5-11 will be a major disappointment. I would rather be competitive and build more blocks year after year for a consistent rise in the standings.

            I’m sure that Lynch and Shanahan will be going for fewer veterans and more youth from this year forward. They signed older, experienced players more for their knowledge of Shanahan’s system. They tried to have someone knowledgeable with the system in each position group. They will be looking for younger replacements each year.

            I think Saleh will be excellent. If you read interviews with him and watch his press conferences, he is very impressive. When Lynch and Shanahan interviewed him, they said that he blew them away. I figured that they were blowing smoke until I saw what he was all about. I think that he’ll figure out how to use players to their strengths, unlike the last two DCs. Mangini was terrible and O’Neil was god awful. Harbaugh and his staff showed what a difference coaching can make. I think this team is better than people realize. We will find out soon enough!

    1. To each his/her own.

      The article is a collection of some interesting takes and cherry-picked factoids (and some rather lose hyperbole)–packaged in the trendy ‘Top {insert number here] Reasons Why, or Top [insert number here] Players Who, etc, etc. style of journalism.

      About par for the course…

      1. Yeah, I thought so too. At least it’s not quite as bad as his context-less and sample-size statistical analytics errors. This just plain old boring ‘cherry pick for bad things’ articles that I’ve been reading since the 1960s.

        Except Hoyer, not a single person listed has anything to lose this year. It’s year one of a new regime. Nobody, in their right mind or abstaining from the pre-pre-season koolaid should rationally expect much beyond some marginal improvement which may, or may not, translate to wins.

        I do expect improvement, btw. We got rid of a QB who no longer makes big plays (WPA) and was never as good as Smith in move-the-chains plays (EPA). And getting rid of a guy who could no longer terrorize defenses with his legs and couldn’t function in the pocket to a journeyman level for Hoyer is a step up even if Hoyer isn’t anything more than a journeyman.

      1. Nick, the idea of the top guy taking responsibility has lost it’s potency in circles, certainly the one surrounding our Executive branch in DC. Grant still seems to recognize the maxim.

  1. Everything you say is conjecture. Did Shanny lose the super Bowl or did the defense lose the super bowl for him? You could make a case that it was the defense. As for Lynch, he has made all the right moves so far, so what makes you think that he will fail? The selections weren’t his alone. He has a supporting cast that helped him and all of them have the experience that you say he lacks. The old adage still works. If you can’t do, hire those that can, and he has done just that. Those that were passed up all had their failures or they wouldn’t have been available. Each had been fired from somewhere. Neither Lynch nor Shanny were fired. Of what was available at the time I believe that this time York might have gotten it right. Look who the genius owner hired before he got to Walsh. The man who couldn’t get a job in the pros and had to become a college coach. He turned out to be one of the most successful coaches of his time.

    1. A called running play can take close to 40 seconds off a properly managed game clock if the RB stays in bounds and there is not a penalty flag whereas pass plays may take as little as 4 seconds and bring clock stoppage if the pass is incomplete or the receiver goes out of bounds. Look at the time of possession in the second half of the game.

      For the game, the Patriots held the ball for 40:31, while Atlanta possessed it for just 23:27.

      The Patriots ran an insane 93 total plays, while the Falcons ran just 46. That lack of offensive snaps meant that offensive studs like Devonta Freeman and Julio Jones couldn’t take the game over. Freeman wound up with just 13 touches (11 rushes) and Jones had just four catches for 87 yards on four target.

      Falcons also only had 1 (one) 3rd down conversion in 8 opportunities.

      1. So, I look at it as, Shanahan learned something important on somebody else’s nickel. IMO, it would be ridiculous to expect that Shanahan hasn’t learned something from the SB experience. The best lessons in life are learned the hard way.

        1. Shanahan naively thought that he could keep racking up points and that Belichick wouldn’t adjust at halftime. By constantly passing and stopping the clock, while not scoring a single point, it left the Falcons defense on the field almost the entire second half. They were winded and Brady burned them like toast. The real fault lies with Dan Quinn, the HC. The HC needs to look at the big picture and let his OC know what was becoming obvious. Run more time off the clock but even more so, give the defense a breather. Once the Patriots won the toss in OT, you knew that they would go right down the field and score. It was game over.

          1. Matt Ryan froze like a dear in headlights and the Patriots got very lucky, that’s how the Falcons lost. On any given Sunday, anything can happen in the game of football. Jim Harbaugh didn’t even have his team mentally ready to play for an entire first half of the most important game of their careers. They committed a silly penalty on the very first offensive game of scrimmage, and called a miserable first half of football. And somehow he’s got more clout? Give me a break!

            The Ravens, like the Falcons, did what most teams do, they played conservative football in the second half and tried to hold onto their lead, and nearly lost. That game, like last years Super Bowl, came down to 1 or 2 plays that ultimately decided the game, like football often does. That’s the NFL.

            1. Yup, not to mention Harbaugh closing out a Superbowl in bonehead Carroll-esque play-calling fashion hasn’t seemed to define his career. At least Carroll has won one of the damn things. Harbaugh ran back to the college ranks.

            2. The Falcons played the 2nd half too conservatively? What game were you watching?

              I definitely get your point about teams sometimes being too conservative and playing not to lose, but the Falcons were aggressive the whole game.

      2. Except, while you probably don’t want to hear it, statistically speaking, his choice was the right one with a much greater chance of success than all you ‘he should have run it’ complainers. Your choice belongs to the dinosaur era of football, the kind of foolish you get from the chronically ‘bridesmaid’ coaches like Marty Schottenheimer.

        The Patriots won that game because they dropped their under-the-center offense and went shotgun to nullify the Falcon pass-rush. That gave Brady an extra-half second to make passing decisions and he tore up the crappy linebacking/secondary of the Falcons.

        And, for the record, that happened with Dan Quinn was the DC for the Seahawks. The Patriots did the same thing and Brady just owned them.

        Quarters 1 through 3:

        Seahawks 23/34 198 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs, 77.8 QB rating, 14 points scored.
        Falcons 21/34 220 yards, 1 TD, 1 IN, 78.1 QB rating 9 points scored.

        4th Quarter

        Seahawks 14/16 130 yards 2TD, 0 INT 140.1QB rating. 14 points scored.
        Falcons 22/28 246 yards 1 TD, 0 INT, 115.2, 25 points scored.

        The bottom line was that after getting pressure on Brady 16 times in the first half, Atlanta managed only 4 more pressures through the rest of the game. And that was, simply put, the one major adjustment Bilicheck made — pass from the shotgun, don’t start under center.

        And Quinn, once again, got schooled because he had no answer and no back-up plan. Yet despite Quinn’s constant failure for an entire quarter plus over-time, Shanahan gets the blame for a play that, statistically, was more likely to produce a positive out-come than a run.

    1. Mavin… Grant can’t do that. He doesn’t believe in this team. He only believes in what he thinks is right. He’s the same guy that says Shannahan wouldn’t touch this dumpster fire, blank would pay him to stay. He’s the same guy that said, no free agents want to play here. He’s the same guy that said, the Niners are stupid because they didn’t chase a green bay packer executive, he’s the Same guy that said Lynch was a bad choice because he’s a tv analyst and doesn’t know how to build a team(which Lynch promptly went and hired experienced guys),and he’s the same guy that thinks he knows more about football than the men in charge. Which doesn’t make him a journalist, it makes him what he is, an opinionated blog writer. Lol. To each his own. Haters gonna hate. But hey he gets paid to be that way I guess. Kudos sir.

      1. Hey, Grant gets paid for this.

        His schedule:

        1. Wakes up, has breakfast, writes a provoking column, sure to have the 49er faithful foaming at the mouth.
        2. Sends column to the Santa Rosa P.D.
        3. Goes to the beach and relaxes.
        4. Checks his smartphone occasionally to read the haters hating. Sees them pick on Seb. Sees Seb get baited to respond. Grant is smart enough not to go near any of that. Answers a few questions if he feels like it. Defends himself on football knowledge but ignores personal attacks. Thanks those who compliment him.
        5. Goes home. Does whatever.
        6. Wakes up, rinses and repeats.
        7. Gets paid to do it all.

        I’d like that job.

        1. Hey brown noser I’m sure u will. So will everyone else in the world. U need any knee pads? #hatersgonnahate

          1. Haters Gonna Hate,

            You’ve got the right name. You just want to hurl personal attacks and you prove my point. If anything, Grant probably didn’t appreciate most of my post because his job is a lot more complicated than that. It was late and mostly tongue-in-cheek. It was based on how people constantly complain about how unhappy they are with Grant’s posts, personally attack him and then keep coming back. I agree with him sometimes and sometimes I don’t. It’s his job to stimulate conversation. It doesn’t really take much to do that around here.

        2. Baited to respond? No, I have refrained from bringing up Kaep, but like a moth to a flame, they seem to go there, which gives me another opportunity to talk about him, since I think he is far superior to the present QBs.
          .
          Most posters are sick and tired of mentioning him, and talking about him, but they just give me a forum to keep his name relevant to the situation.
          .
          Sure, he may not have much of a chance to re-sign with the Niners, but imagine if Lynch decides he really wants to win games, and will do everything in his power to succeed. Imagine if he will bite the bullet and endure the blowback, and imagine if his assessments and moves leads to winning.
          .
          I Kaep re-signs and leads the team to a non losing season, I might be able drive Prime away….;p

            1. Actually, I already did it. You were so incensed by my posts, you swore you were leaving this site and would never return.
              .
              Too bad you are not a man of your word, so when you welshed on that bet over a technicality, it just confirmed your lack of character.

          1. Oh Sebbie…. To borrow a line from your favorite boy band (Nsync) “baby, bye, bye, bye…” Kaep ain’t comin’ back.

            1. Cassie, just because you say that, the more I think it might be possible that he will return, because Baalke, who hated Kaep with a passion, is gone.

      2. amazing,
        The writer picks 2016 2-14 team to go 9-7 in 2017 along with his comments/criticisms about made over roster, entirely new O & D systems/coaching staff/mgmt., and he’s called negative about the team’s 2017 season potential…way to go!
        again…amazing!

    2. We could have five 9ers at least risk, then five reasons why the 9ers will go deep into the playoffs, followed by predicting the five most popular items on the training camp menu…

  2. Yep, those all seem right.

    I think Reid, Bowman, Ward and Armstead also are pretty high on the list. All four guys could lose a fair bit of money in coming years if they don’t perform this year.

      1. Thankfully winter in Brisbane is still pretty warm. Though its still cold enough to wreak havoc with the arthritis in my hands!

  3. I don’t recall Shanahan being the DC of the Falcons nor do I remember him playing defense. I do remember him being the OC that helped orchestrate the Falcons drop 28 points on the Patriots. Pretty sure he did his job. He screwed up on the pass call at the end that should have been a run but they never should have been in that situation to begin with and he certainly didn’t put them in it.

    1. Yes, for all the hate towards Shannahan, let’s not forget, that defense got their ass kicked. ATL was bad as a whole in the 2nd half. But people want to blame Shannahan. What about the d coordinator who couldn’t adjust after Brady figured out how to kill them… I’ll Wait??? #hatersgonnahate

  4. Grant Cohn continues to show that he is nothing but a know nothing 9ers hater, that for some strange reason is given a football column to write daily. Grant is a clown. We all know it!

    1. Tim, you waste your time writing a hit piece, but the vehemence to your tone just shows how affected you are by what he writes, and how desperate you are to try and diss him. Too bad you fail, mightily, because Grant, has a loyal following of posters who like his style of writing, and especially his content.
      .
      While I generally like what Grant writes, and generally agree with him, in this case, I will totally differ. Jed aint goin’ nowhere. KS and JL could go 2-14, and still keep their jobs. I do agree that Hoyer and Saleh have the most chance to fail, but the players who I think have the most to risk are Earl Mitchell, Pierre Garcon, Jimmy Ward, Vance MacDonald and Zane Beadles.
      .
      The coaches at risk the most are John Benton -O line, Jeff Zgonina- D line, Mike laFleur- WRs, Johnny Holland -LBs, along with Saleh.
      .
      Somehow, your screed loses power with just the ad hominem attack with no supporting facts.

    2. Tim, there’s a guy I think you are familiar with who says “turn the other cheek”. Reflect on that for a while, OK?

        1. Understandable. That was a time we were all frustrated with the pre-Harbaugh Alex Smith show. It’s not too different from last year’s hopes placed on Blaine Gabbert.

          1. Speak for yourself. I figured out Smith well before everyone pretended he wasn’t the Worst QB Ever. It was obvious, at least to me, in 2007 before he broke his shoulder.

            And since he’s finally found a real NFL coach, he’s made the pro-bowl twice.

      1. There were several WRs who I thought were better. Reuben Randle, Mohamad Sanu, Brian Quick, Alshon Jeffrey, TY Hilton, were all chosen after AJJ. Even Stephen hill, who never lived up to his billing due to knee problems.
        .
        Look at the players selected directly after AJJ.
        .
        Doug Martin RB, David Wilson RB, Brian Quick WR, Coby Fleener TE, Courtney Upshaw LB, Derek Wolfe DT, Mitchell Schwartz OT, Andre Branch DE, Janoris Jenkins CB, Amini Silatolu G, Cordy Glenn OT, Jonathan Martin OT, Stephen Hill WR, Jeff Allen G, Alshon Jeffrey WR, Mychal Kendricks LB, and Bobby Wagner LB.
        .
        If the Niners had selected any of those other WRs, they might have won that SB.

    1. What would you expect for a 2 win team? The Bradys and Rodgers clamoring to come here? He may not be a one team franchise, but neither is he a NFL washout after 2 seasons.

    2. Counting the Steelers the 49ers are Hoyers 7th team.

      In light of that, saying he has has most to risk is silly. In Hoyer’s world this is just another Thursday .

  5. I sure don’t agree with KS losing the Super Bowl. There are 45 players a HC a DC and many other coaches that contributed to that loss. Its a team game and the team failed to perform big time. I see KS on the hot seat just because he is the fourth HC in four years….not because his former team lost.

    I also don’t see York losing his job anytime soon even with a complete failure in the 2017 season.

    Hoyer like you say is a journeyman QB whose job will always be on the line till he is replaced permanently.

    My eyes are going to be on Saleh and the defense. I think if the defense plays good ball the Niners will do well this season. If it doesn’t its going to be another long……..long…….year.

  6. Why isn’t Kap with the Niners, Seb ?

    And no political excuses, because we both know if Shanny thought Kap was a fit for the WCO, he would not have fired him.

    TomD’s Take: A man whose coached top -10 offenses 6 of 9 (Shanahan) seasons hired a top 11 QB–Hoyer.

    Hmmm: Gosh, Seb, how do you explain those numbers when a top 11 QB in Hoyer goes to a top 10 Head Coach, in Shanahan (and Shanny was a # 1 OC for ATL last year)….Could it be Shanahan knows QB’s better than you ?

    Kap never achieved top 10 status, but Montana, Young and Garcia did. Looks like Shanahan wants the real deal–not fraudulent accuracy like Kap

    http://www.49erswebzone.com/commentary/1696-key-kyle-shanahans-offense-win-first-down/

    1. Yawn, you try to dazzle me with facts, but the only fact I need is your proposal to trade Kaep for Tebow, then I know that I am not going to deign to get into a battle of wits against an unarmed foe.

        1. Haunting my posts? Cassie, you must think the stench of Baalke has dissipated, but it seems strong as ever.

  7. On Hoyer, yeah sure, that’s the deal. He needs to show respectable in 2017.
    The other four, not so much.
    Barring abject failure, the DC’s job isn’t necessarily precarious.
    The other three?
    Can you say six year deal?
    Yes, Jed pushed in his ante but it has to play out before it pays off or busts. 2017 isn’t crucial to Jed. Or is Denise going to fire him?
    KS and JL have 3-4 years prove their worth. No 2017 isn’t make or break.
    How did Walsh’s first season go?

    1. Great,

      Once again, another Niner fan wishing for the good ol’ days of Cody Pickett, Jim Tomsula and the Quack Attack.

      Will we ever get professional analysts on this site, or just quacks, sucking up to the Chip Kelly’s and DC–Oneil’s of the world ?

    2. Barring abject failure, the DC’s job isn’t necessarily precarious.

      I’d say he’ll need to show the job isn’t too big for him, and demonstrate growth from week to week. Abject failure is a pretty low bar, and contrary to Grant’s belief that Fangio refused the job, it was reported that the Bears never allowed him to return their call. Not to mention the fact that Fangio stated Shanny was his first choice as OC when he was being considered for the HC’ing job, and that Vic absolutely loved playing golf in the Bay Area. I’m fairly confident he would take the job if offered next year, and the Bears won’t have anything to say about it….

      1. We shall see, you’re certainly standing resolute with your prediction : -)
        Consider that Shanny has demonstrated a strong sense of loyalty to assistants. If the D blends in the second half of the season KS might be hesitant to make a change.
        Lynch knows D and can smell a team problem if there is one and can lobby KS..

        1. I would hate for them to switch to this Seahawks 4-3 defense, draft players to fit it, and then switch back to a 3-4 again next year. That’s what would happen if they rehired Fangio.

          1. I am not too worried. Pete Carroll said that he had a 4-3 system, played by 3-4 players.
            .
            It will be more of a hybrid system, that can change from one scheme to the other, quickly and seamlessly.
            .
            Saleh is the key, and I am not too optimistic that he will be the answer, since he has never been a DC before.

  8. CBS Sports has 49ers selecting Josh Rosen in ‘super-early’ 2018 mock draft
    July 5, 2017 at 11:21 AM • 35 comments

  9. I think the 49ers purposely went cheap on the QB position because that will shade this rebuild.

    Hoyer and the 49ers won’t win more than 5 games. Then the focus will be on finding a QB in a very good draft class in 2018.
    In sigining Shanny and Lynch to 6 year deals, they get 3 of those without any pressure.

  10. Grant I have no problem with this article. If people just read the content what you wrote is exactly right. They all have a tremendous amount of work to do to get this franchise back on top. As long as you are not trying to be a head coach gm or football know it all I enjoy your columns.

  11. Basically regurgitateing the same jargon but with different names.
    This team only won 2 games last year. It’s safe to say that 80% of last years starters will be fighting for their jobs.
    And includes Hoyer.

  12. I’m not sure how Shannahan orchestrated the biggest collapse. As easy as it can be to blame the offense, you can’t take any blame away from Atlanta’s D. They allowed 3 TD’s and 3 2-point conversions in a little over a qtr. The offense scored enough point to win a game, whether that was in the first half or second, they scored and ATL D could not hold. PERIOD

  13. It’s impossible for me to lump and owner, GM, two coaches and a player in to the same article and brand it like they are somehow on the same level.

    Nothing in the article makes me wanna disagree, but from 1-5, none of those people are on the same level or category.

  14. #6. As long as the York’s own the team you will always have waves of 1-5’s. Incompetency knows no bounds.

  15. Nice article. #5 the Yorks is the key. All is good now, but the Yorks staying course with the plan and spending heavy when the time comes to keep existing pillar players or bringing in Shannys key free agents will be key. I trust all others involved-even Prague. However I’m reserving Yorks judgement for 3-4 years because Jed & John have a history of panicking or doing the wrong thing at the worst time. They are good at picking sides and dividing camps as they did with Baalke and Harbaugh. Though I think the current GM coach relationship is stronger, let’s see what happens when money is needed and Shanny is on the table wanting to spend & Lynch is cautious because Yorks like things that way. Shanny is closer to Harbs in competitiveness than people think. And when the Yorks got in the way of trying to win that when the problems came. We’ll see if the Yorks will be quiet support mechanisms or if they start to interject & in force their real beliefs when money is needed for players.

    1. The problem is that once the 49ers turn the corner and become successful again, the Yorks start to think that they deserve the credit and believe they can go cheap and replace the coach without any consequences. John York fired Steve Mariucci for petty reasons after the team went 10-6 and had the biggest comeback ever in a playoff game. (At the time). After 9 years in the wilderness, Jim Harbaugh brought this team back to respectability, bringing them to the NFC Championship game in his first three years. His reward? Having the rug pulled out from under him in his 4th year before he was sent packing. Let’s hope the Yorks have learned their lesson. At least this time they had a plan. After Mariucci and Harbaugh were let go they didn’t have one and it was a major embarrassment.

  16. You should have separated out players from coaches & owners.

    Coaches: We could be at the beginning of a beautiful relationship if Shanny/Lynch are successful but they are first timers so of course there is a huge unknown. They obviously have a lot to lose but I think the hit their career would take by being awful in the first year isn’t too big. They will get some grace before they start losing credibility.
    Owner: Jed stands to lose nothing. As he correctly pointed out, “you can’t get rid of the owner.” York is already universally disliked by the fan base His revenue is guaranteed. He could continue to run the organization into the ground over the next decade and it wouldn’t change a thing for him. He literally has nothing to lose.
    Players: Disagree on Hoyer. No one expects anything from him. If he’s awful it was expected. If he’s competent then it’s a pleasant surprise. No one expects him to be the long term answer so he doesn’t have a lot to lose. My top 5 for players with something to lose. I’m automatically excluding rookies because they get a gimme year as rookies. The only thing that can happen to a rookie is they outperform expectations so they gain glory not scorn.
    1. Navarro Bowman: He has to prove he is not done. If he players poorly, 2017 could be his last year in the league.
    2. Arick Armstead: Another poor year or missed time to injury will result in official bust status.
    3. Carlos Hyde: Contract Year. He either makes millions or loses millions based on his performance this year.
    4. Tank Carradine: Contract Year. He’s either a bust or he makes a generous new contract.
    5. Marquise Goodwin: He either cements his reputation as a 1 trick pony that can only go vertical or he proves he is a well rounded receiver who can be a viable option in all phases of the passing game.

      1. Jed’ mom won’t fire him. They will dismiss coaches, players, trainers, scouts, team bus drivers, laundry personnel and janitorial before Jed gets to the hook.

        1. Maybe, but Jed has a younger brother, and he might take over if Jed keeps on imploding.
          .
          If the Niners go winless, and the fans go ballistic against Jed, she might take pity on him, and shield him from the vitriol, because it is not healthy to be subject to such vehement hate. Maybe Jed’s wife will put her foot down, and say it is not worth it to go hiding from the general public, and it is not in her children’s best interest to have her husband become such a pariah and focus of such enmity.
          .
          Sure, Jed is the leader, but he might be setting himself up to fail spectacularly, then something will hit the fan.
          .
          However, I truly think that Lynch is pointing the Niners in the right direction, and the Niners will possibly win 8 games, since the Seahawks have salary cap problems, the Cards have QB questions, and the Rams have a green rookie coach.

            1. Because we all know behind every successful GM is an anonymous poster feeding him instructions from a fan blog.

              1. If only he had not made an unforced error, then I could say he followed my advice to the letter…..

              2. So that reminds me of another story. My older son was being recruited for football at some smaller schools. I got to know one of the coaches fairly well and he’s now recruiting my younger son at a bigger school. He was telling me this story about a time when he was the head coach at what is now a pretty good FCS school. He had been the head coach for 4 years when the school got a new president. Around the middle of the season the president calls him in and says, “you’ve got to fire the defensive coordinator.” The coach asks why and the president says, “we are getting killed on the fan blogs and we need to make a change.” The head coach basically tells him to go look at his contract. Coaching decisions belong to the head coach. So the president fired him on the spot. The piece of advice he was giving me was in the recruiting process you should do all the normal review of making sure its a good school and you like the coaching staff but you also need to see what kind of support the schools administration gives it’s athletic departments.

      2. And if she fires Jed, that means she’s now responsible. Speaking of poker, I’m betting that’s the very last thing she is looking for.

      3. Well Grant, let’s just say your first few months running this blog were less than stellar. Can you just imagine a situation where your Dad fired you? Can you imagine Thanksgiving dinner? If you think Denise is going to fire Jed then you are insane. The only way Jed leaves the 49ers is if he asks his Mommy to save him from the meany sportswriters. I will buy you a drink if you can make that happen.

        1. The likelihood of Denise firing Jed is approximately equal to the likelihood of the 45th Occupant firing Ivanka. It’s sort of embarrassing he perpetuates that nonsense, if only by insinuation. Reminiscent of,other fantasies we see here.

          1. Dunno ’bout the firing but they just nabbed a dude with a knife ready to cut Ivanka up like wienerschnitzel in The Tower….

  17. I don’t think Hoyer has much on the line because he’s a designed fall guy/ lame duck/ sacrificial lamb waiting for the real player they want to come along. He really doesn’t have any chance of a future except as a back up by design. He’s the definition of a bridge player. I think you’re over inflating how good he is by cherry picking stats. If he was that great he’d be starting for someone else right now. It feels a lot like picking Kaep’s best 17 games when he first entered the league and ignoring the rest of his career. Hoyer’s mediocre at best.

    Lots of hyperbole on Kyle. If they go through another set of coaches in a year man we’re toxic, I think they’ll let them stay for at least 3 years before dumping Lynch and Shannahan.

    1. I am fervently hoping they turn it around. KS does have good offensive schemes, Lynch will help improve the defense. Lynch also signed a boatload of free agents, and hit a grand slam in the draft.
      .
      The coaching has improved. No more failed Brown’s DCs, or QB coach disc jockeys.

  18. Not sure Hoyer really has that much to risk. I think the league as a pretty good pulse on who Brian Hoyer is. He’s going to get another season and a half, maybe two to prove that he’s still a candidate to be your #1 back up. The 49ers have no intentions of having Hoyer be their starter past the 2018 season if even that long.

    After being replaced by a rookie or Cousins in a year or two who’s going to look at his time in SF when he’s about to turn 34 and say, yea, there’s our starter.

    1. I have no idea but that reminds me of a story I heard. An NFL player was being interviewed about the best trash talk from fans he ever heard. A player from Baltimore told a story where they went onto the field for warm ups before a game against the Jets who are notorious for their heckling. Usually the stadium is still relatively empty during pregame warmups so players can easily hear anything a fan has to say. Aubrayo Franklin, who was pushing 330-340lbs, walks onto the field and this guy starts screaming,

      “Hey, #91 – only one player per uniform.”

      That one always gives me a good laugh. The other Ravens players thought it was hilarious and were cracking up on the field.

      1. Heh, that is funny.

        Also it’s time for glasses because I was preparing a list of the 5 fastest 49ers.

    2. All time?

      (Probably not even close):

      Bubba Paris
      Dana Stubblefield
      Anthony Davis
      Aaron Lynch (that one’s for you Grant)
      Chip Kelly

      Special mention: Lawrence Phillips, Bruce Miller, Aldon Smith (fatheads)

  19. How does Micky Loomis still have a job? If not for Bree’s they wouldn’t have won more then 6 games combined the past 3 seasons. Hanging out in the cellar of the cap list and in the attic of the dead money list.

    Traded up to draft Cooks in 2014 spending picks 20,27&91 on him. Then traded him to the Pats after two and a half productive seasons for pick #32. Loomis spent 1666 points in draft capital on a productive receiver who would easily be the #1 guy on at least a 1/3 of the teams in this league and then traded him for less then 600 points in draft stock after less then 3 years.

    Traded Jimmy Graham after his two most productive seasons on the team catching more then 2000 yards and 26 TD’s and replaced him with Coby Fleener who hasn’t scored more then 20 TD’s in his 5 year career.

    Despite Bree’s growing contract and increasing age the team has made no serious effort to find his replacement. Since 2010 the team has drafted 2 QB’s with Grayson in the third round being the most effort they’ve decided to spend on the position.

    Loomis also traded away draft picks to move up this past season to draft a total of 5 players for a team that is clearly in a rebuild mode. At a time when he should have been collecting picks to fill the stocks he was giving them away to cherry pick specific needs. This is exactly what you’re not supposed to do unless you’re already a contender.

    Loomis is driving that team straight into the ground.

  20. Great article Grant, looking forward to the start of training camp. Just out of curiosity, I know its way too early but do you have a favorite among the college Quarterbacks coming out in 2018.

    1. Thanks. My favorite is Josh Allen, but Sam Darnold is the real deal as well. Josh Rosen is fool’s good. Luke Falk is better.

      1. Deondre Francois and Matt Linehan are two of the next tier of quarterbacks that I will be following closely this year.

        1. I will tell you this: Francis is tough! He really got knocked around last year. He played injured and he took so many big hits after that but just kept playing. He’s fearless. He probably should stay in school for another year.

          1. Toughest SOB playing college football last year. I saw him get battered behind their OL, disappear inside the medical tent on the sidelines, only to emerge ready to go on more than one occasion. If he can continue to improve without Cook in the kitchen, I would presume he’d be an enticing selection if he were to come out. He’ll have quite the test opening day against Alabama….

      2. This will be big year for Rosen. I am not willing to write him off yet. As a freshman he looked good.

              1. You know I am a Falk fan, but I think Rosen has more natural ability. If you were after attitude, leadership and ability to process information quickly I think Falk is better, if you wanted upside I think you go Rosen.

              2. If Rosen can stay healthy he’ll be a top 5 pick. He came in as an 18 year old and led UCLA to 8 wins his freshman year and was looking better each week last season until he injured the shoulder. He is fundamentally sound, can read defenses and go through progressions already and matured a lot from year one to year two. The only thing that could derail him is the shoulder if it becomes an issue long term.

              3. Bortles was a top 5 pick, too.

                UCLA won 10 games the season before Rosen became the starter.

              4. I do not envision a scenario where Shanny would be interested in a quarterback like Falk.

              5. Tough for an 18 year old to come in with high expectations amidst a lot of roster turnover and play well which Rosen did. He also had to deal with a change in the offensive system before last season which he responded well to. He is the most technically sound of any QB who will be available in the draft. There aren’t any glaring weakness’ or areas of improvement to focus on either. He just needs to stay healthy, play a full slate and he’ll be ready for the NFL.

        1. Not a Rosen guy in the least. He reminds me of a guy who has had all the best training in the world so he has good mechanics, good arm strength, intelligent about the game BUT he just isn’t a play maker. He’ll be a capable NCAA QB but he’s not an NFL starting caliber player. From the few games I’ve seen of him, he also looks like he lacks rapport with his teammates. Could be wrong on that point but he’s not good enough to allow people to get past his aloofness.

            1. I like Sam Darnold. He seems to have the It factor. I think his game needs work but he’s super talented. His throwing motion looks odd to me so I need to see how he delivers it.
              I like Josh Allen but I think he needs to have a good year to solidify his spot as a top QB. Not too enthused about the level of his competition though.
              The one sleeper I have is Kyle Allen out of the University of Houston. He got kind of a raw deal at Texas A&M. The team recruited Kyler Murray, whose father played for A&M, with a promise of some playing time. Murray was one of the top QB recruits in the country so I guess they felt they needed to make some promises. Anyway, Murray split time with Kyle Allen even though Allen was a far superior QB. Allen tried to play through an injury his final season at A&M and his play suffered. Finally, Kyle Allen got tired of the BS from A&M so he transferred. Allen has all the tools you want in an NFL QB. He just needs some coaching. Obviously we need to see what he has next year but I think he’d be a 2nd day or 3rd day steal.

              I don’t like Lamar Jackson as an NFL QB. His build is too slight so he’ll get killed in the NFL. I’m intrigued with Deondre Francois but I need to see more to really form an opinion. I was very impressed with his leadership and on field command in the 1 game I saw last year.

              1. Hmm, they said the same thing about Joe Montana. Randy Cross thought he was the punter.
                .
                Lamar Jackson is not only mobile, he has good accuracy and touch on the ball.

              2. Darnold and Allen are the attractive picks, but Rosen has cautionary flags of commitment and injury.
                .
                My favorite is Jake Browning. He had some very good games last season. However, since KS likes accuracy, he should take a long look at Luke Falk. His 70% completion percentage is impressive.
                .
                Also, forgotten in the QB rankings are TJ Barrett and Jalen Hurts, who may come out early. Either of them may win a national championship, which will increase their draft stock.

              3. @seb

                Do you type stuff just to hear yourself talk? Lamar Jackson as Joe Montana? That’s absolutely insane. Jalen Hurts? Really? He was a true freshman last year and he won’t be in the draft in 2018 because of the NFL’s 3 year draft eligibility rule so he’s not even part of the discussion. Even if he were part of the discussion he’s nowhere near ready for the NFL. He would be a low round pick or an UDFA next year. His passing wasn’t very good and he had a hard time reading defenses. I’m a huge fan of Hurts because he’s from my area so I know quite a bit about him. Father was his high school coach and by all accounts this is the All American kid. Great kid, great family, great work ethic and my son played against his team in HS so I followed him closely at Bama. Even so, you’re crazy if you think he’s ready for the NFL. He may be one day but not in 2018.

              4. Francois definitely checks two primary boxes for Shanny. He doesn’t flinch in the pocket no matter how many times he’s hit, and he’s being coached by a highly regarded offensive mind. If he builds on last year like I expect he will, he should be part of the quarterback conversation….

              5. I must admit that it was hyperbole to compare Jackson with the greatest QB of all time, but I was just comparing his physical stature, not how well Jackson will play.
                .
                I just thought that Hurts was a sophomore last year because I believed he played in 2 national championship games.
                .
                Darnold does look talented, but I guess I have a block against USC QBs. Allen does shine, but he is not playing against college powerhouses, so he may show his limitations.
                .
                Rosen needs to grow up.

  21. Dan Quinn and Richard Smith deserve just as much blame as Shanny. You can’t put it all on any one of these guys. But you can’t absolve any of them either.

    1. Which Forty Niner Did Pro Football Focus Name as a Secret Superstar?
      Posted 6 hours ago

      Sam Monson of Pro Football Focus recognized those secret superstars on every NFL roster and named fullback Kyle Juszczyk as his pick on the San Francisco 49ers roster.
      Referred to as the 49ers “offensive weapon” by general manager John Lynch, Jusczcyk is coming off of his first career Pro Bowl season. He led all NFL fullbacks with 465 snaps in 2016 while playing for the Baltimore Ravens.

      TomD’s Take: Combined with FA, ProBowl center, Jeremy Zuttah and ProBowler, Joe Staley, the Niners will surprise teams.

      1. You know that they named Chilo Rachel the 49ers secret superstar. Considering how spectacularly Rachel failed in the NFL it woke me up to the fact they’re just talking out their ***es. They’re good at counting. But once it comes to analytics… I don’t listen to them.

        They have yet to figure out context. And context, which is hard to figure out in football, really matters in football. Unlike baseball where it’s a series of single events that are easy to break-down and context is generally obvious:

        Pitcher-Hitter.
        Hitter-Fielder.
        Fielder-Runner.

    2. More. Shanahan had one play call that, statistically, was the right call. Quinn blew the second half of the Superbowl and allowed Brady (for the second time in his career) to put a monster 4th quarter to win the game.

      You who Brady did it against the first time? Dan Quinn’s Seattle defense.

      In short, Quinn’s screwed the pooch twice. Shanahan had a bad play.

  22. Colin Kaepernick Talks Finding ‘Personal Independence’ on Trip to Ghana

    Seb, the way I hear it (from you as the source, of course) you’ve developed a sort of, 3rd
    Eye, involving everything the 49er front office will do, since (according to you) the Niners troll this site to glean knowledge from you.

    Maybe you should ride camels with Kap in Ghana, while carrying your album of ‘3rd Eye Blind’ to keep those vision skills honed.

    I understand some of the better camels can sniff out land mines, so if you ante up a few more bucks than the ordinary tourist (show your no rube) then you could make it safely back with a story to tell this blog !

    http://bleacherreport.com/articles/2719979-colin-kaepernick-talks-finding-personal-independence-on-trip-to-ghana

  23. The Giants didn’t get any of the top 50 international prospects

    In baseball nerd circles, International Signing Day is a big deal. July 2 is the day that teams can officially announce deals they’ve had with teenagers for months, snatching prospects from all over the world. The Dodgers got a dude from Aruba, and I can respect that.

    The Giants signed 11 prospects according to Baseball America, including three who received a $300,000 bonus. They did not get any of the top 50 prospects (yet). You might never read their names again…

    But there’s a bothersome side to what the Giants did on International Signing Day, and it’s a dead horse that I’ve flogged before. The Giants couldn’t spend more than $300,000 on any one prospect for the second straight season because they blew past their bonus pool allotment to sign Lucius Fox in 2016. That’s not the part that bothers me. Even though Fox was dealt (and is performing well in the Rays’ system), I understood the rationale of the trade at the time. Matt Moore was exponentially more likely to help the Giants contend than Fox ever was…

    What bugs me to this day is that the Giants didn’t keep spending after acquiring Fox.

    I wrote about this back in 2016, and I made a comparison that I was pretty sure that I just thought of today.

    TomD’s Take: This is why the Giants will always be 2nd best to the Dodgers. The Dodgers aren’t afraid to spend.
    https://www.mccoveychronicles.com/2017/7/5/15924712/sf-giants-prospects-international-signing-day

    1. TrollD, the Dodger lover. Maybe you did not know this, but the Giants were world Champs 3 times lately, while the Dodgers have not won one in the last 28 years.

      1. You say Dodger lover like its a bad thing >:(
        Granted the rest of my family feels this way.

        Once I took my father out for his first sushi dinner, where he spit up almost everything but the edamame, promptly went to the bathroom to brush his teeth, when we got home and then sat down where I was watching a dodger game.
        The only complaint he uttered that whole evening was about having to watch a Dodger game.

  24. This is an interesting analysis of what went wrong in Cleveland after the Browns 6-3 start. I found the double high safety adjustment that defenses made to slow down/stop the play action particularly interesting (troublesome?). If that defense did indeed put a crimp in the explosiveness of the Cleveland offense, I wonder if it will be a problem for the SF offense? The 49ers defense plans to play single high safety I believe, so will the offense get enough, if any, practice against a double high safety defense?

    But if the defense is playing two high safeties, doesn’t that open up the run. It seems like a consistent criticism of KS is that he can at times be adamant about throwing the ball when taking what the defense gives you is a better strategy (SB for example). I guess we’ll see how it goes.

    https://www.ninersnation.com/2017/7/6/15870498/brian-hoyer-cleveland-browns-kyle-shanahan-alex-mack-johnny-manziel

    1. With double high safeties, if Shanny uses a FB/WB, he has 7 blockers on 7 defenders and Safety support is delayed. It also puts LBs in isolation on short routes underneath. No matter what, PAP only work if the run threat is credible.

    2. It didn’t stop him in Atlanta. And consider he’s generated a Top-10 offense in 6 of his 9 years as an OC… I’m not going to worry about the whinging of the Negative Nancy’s.

      We haven’t had a Top-10 since 2003 and Dennis Erickson. And Erickson’s offense was extremely volatile so it wasn’t terribly effective in producing wins. Scoring 50-points in one game then 14 points in three may give you a 23 PPG average, but the mean can be misleading as you’re likely to lose 3 of the 4 games. And that’s what happened.

      The last true quality offensive run we had was 2001 when Garcia lead the 49ers to the #3 scoring in the NFL after finishing #6 the year before.

  25. The Seahawks needed one yard to win the SB. They chose to pass. It is considered to be one of the worst calls in NFL history. Shanahan needed zero yards to win the SB and decided to pass, but people still defend the call. Hmm.

    A pass play in that situation is not the correct call. There is the added and completely unnecessary risk of taking a sack or throwing an INT. There also could have been another strip sack.

    1. But I’m just a mere fan, what does HOF QB Steve Young think?

      http://www.mercurynews.com/2017/02/06/steve-young-critical-of-kyle-shanahans-super-bowl-play-calling/

      Steve Young was quick to critique Kyle Shanahan’s play-calling in ESPN’s postgame coverage. Particularly the decision to try a deep throw on 2nd and 11 while leading 28-20 with four minutes left in regulation.

      “I can’t tell you how inexcusable that is,” Young, an ESPN analyst, said. “That cannot happen. The ball has got to come out. The play-calling cannot put it into a deep drop. Those are things that lose Super Bowls.”

      An earlier deep dropback also drew scorn from Young. Facing 3rd and 1 with a 28-12 lead, Ryan dropped deep and was sacked, fumbling the ball to set up a Patriots touchdown.

      “This is inexcusable,” Young said as he saw a replay of the sack. “Deep drop. Third-and-1. You got the blitz. Everyone knew it. I saw it coming from five seconds before the snap. You cannot hold the football in that situation and allow that.”

      1. #80 – Yikes. Let’s just hope he learned his lesson. And let’s hope Big Shanny reminds him as necessary!

      2. Whine, whine, whine while hyperfocusing on one play, as if the other 119 didn’t matter? Seriously, is that all anyone in the media or the fanbase can do anymore? I could point out bad calls by Walsh and bone-head plays by Young. One play doesn’t define Shanahan, no matter how much people want to Monday morning QB because they’re so risk-adverse that they can’t take chances.

        And I don’t see much criticism of Quinn, despite that he was the guy calling the plays in both 4th quarter melt-downs (one Seahawks, one Falcons) that lead to Brady putting up two huge come-from-behind wins in the Superbowl. Yet we get all this ****ing whinging about one Shanahan play. The game wasn’t blown on that one play. It was blown because Dan Quinn blows it in big games. He crapped-it-up with both the the Seahawks AND Falcons in the Superbowl.

        Besides, one play doesn’t negate this:

        While his 2016 regular season with the Falcons was far-and-away his best, Shanahan has produced top-10 offenses in six of his nine seasons as an offensive coordinator. His success at the helm earned him the top spot in Bleacher Report analyst Dour Farrar’s rankings of the best offensive scheme’s in the NFL

        http://ninerswire.usatoday.com/2017/07/06/bleacher-report-ranks-kyle-shanahans-scheme-best-in-nfl/

        You know when we had the last Top-10 offense? 2003 under Erickson. And since then we’ve hadn NINE BOTTOM-10. I’ll take the risk of a bad play over another 15-years of ****-fest offenses.

        1. Moses, relax. I wasn’t whining or criticizing, just bantering.

          You tend to raise interesting and thoughtful points but you should try not to take yourself so seriously.

          I’m all in with Shanny but that doesn’t mean he doesn’t have room to grow. I believe that is the point #80 was making.

          1. Thanks Gabriel. Moses was trying to take a shot at me because I’ve disagreed with some of his takes in the past. Since then, he looks for any reason to disagree with me. He is often insulting and tries to twist my comments into something they’re not.

            Case in point, Moses says “And I don’t see much criticism of Quinn, despite that he was the guy calling the plays in both 4th quarter melt-downs (one Seahawks, one Falcons) that lead to Brady putting up two huge come-from-behind wins in the Superbowl. Yet we get all this ****ing whinging about one Shanahan play.”

            This is my comment from the day before. “Dan Quinn and Richard Smith deserve just as much blame as Shanny.’

            The week after the SB I said that Shanny shouldn’t be judged on that one call alone. I don’t expect Moses or anyone to remember that, but my post about Quinn”s role in the SB collapse was less than 24 hours before Moses post. It’s fine though. At first he got under my skin a little. Now he is just laughable.

        2. Moses, if you read that article, KS likes mobile QBs. None of the present QBs are mobile, especially 5.03 Hoyer. KS is specifically excluding the one QB who is mobile, and who I have advocated using properly by doing controlled rollouts and bootlegs for years.
          .
          KS is not above reproach. That collapse in the SB gives anyone all the ammunition they need to criticize him. If he had won going away, I could see everyone anointing him the next Bill Walsh, but he failed miserably. Hope he has a short memory and can put that behind him, but if the Niners lose next season, it may come back to haunt him.
          .
          Top 10 offenses are fine, but I would rather have a top 5 defense.

              1. “Excluding the one QB who is mobile…” Perhaps you were thinking Randall Cunningham or RGIII?

                Just because KS says he likes mobility in QBs, it doesn’t mean he must have it or all is lost. As Your Excellency is aware, straight line 40 speed is not always the best indicator of effective mobility in the backfield.

              2. Seb, you’re figured out man. You’re not a 49ers fan, you are a Kaepernick fan. I’m not hating on that, I’m stating the obvious.

                At least you are consistent.

              3. Naw, Bling, I will root for the Niners to win, no matter who the QB is. I rooted for Gabbert in the beginning of last season.
                .
                However, I do want the Niners to win so much, I want them to utilize a mobile QB, who should not be a sitting duck, being forced to be only in a static pocket, especially with the 29th ranked O line.

            1. It was interesting to note that during the OTAs and mini camp, KS had the QBs rolling out and throwing on the run. Got good film on the present QBs, so now meaningful assessments can be made.

              1. And, there’ll be much more of that in training camp–not a startling development.

              2. Niners are waiting until the Cousins saga is finalized. I am, too.
                .
                The good thing is that KS has a history of taking any QB, and making him better. Hopefully even unsigned FAs.

              3. And not a startling development when Seb will take credit for the rollout in Shanny’s offense. Kinda like he’s taking credit for the unheard of draft trade back concept.

              4. Rib, when I write something ahead of time, and they do 9 out of 10 things that I wrote about, I am not going to be quiet about it.
                .
                When I wrote that the Niners should obtain 2018 second and third round picks, and see them accomplish that goal, I get to crow about it. Nobody else thought of that strategy, and many were deriding the fact that I wanted the Niners to trade back. In fact, I wanted the Niners to trade back, garner more picks, and still select the player they originally coveted.

              5. Prime, the biggest crybaby on this site is you. You bluster and bloviate, then turtle when called out for losing the bet where you were predicting the Niners would draft Trubisky.
                .
                A person of high character would man up and pay his debt, not use a precondition to weasel out of a bet.

              6. Details are everything.
                It’s not my fault you are a moron a didn’t pay attention to them.
                Cry on Sebnnoying

              7. I get to crow about it

                Do you also predict the sun will come up and crow about that too?

                Dude, get help.

              8. Rib, maybe you should try predicting something that will come true, then you will be able to crow about it.
                .
                The only problem is- you do not have the intellect to think of something ahead of time.

    2. 80,

      It was second down with 35 seconds to go, with one TO. The sequence would’ve been Incomplete pass, clock stops, run, TO, run. The seahawks get three plays, none of which would’ve been rushed.

      Also, Lynch had a terrible year in short yardage, and there hadn’t been a single INT on short goal to go situations in the NFL the entire year.

      The truth is, there was good logic to calling the pass from the one yard line. Russell Wilson threw a piss poor pass. It was both too high and in front of the receiver. That pass has to be thrown on the receiver’s body and waste high or lower. Both things make an INT almost impossible.

      Everyone acts as if Lynch would’ve scored, when, in fact, nobody knows anything of the sort. He could’ve been stopped or fumbled (as he did against the 49ers in the NFCCG).

      Given the situation, one pass and two runs seems like a reasonable play calling sequence, with one TO and a short goal to go situation. It’s getting criticized because of the results. Using this logic, going all in with AA against 69 offsuit and losing when your opponent fills an inside straight on the river is a bad play, simply because of the result.

        1. I agree. In addition, receivers are also taught that on some passes they must instantly see that the ball cannot be caught and they must become a defender. As Darrel Bevel said after the game Ricardo Lockette could have been stronger to the ball. An understatement IMO. Lockette clearly let up when he saw the ball was not right on the numbers. A team game.

      1. Lynch would have scored, because all game, he would hit the line of scrimmage, and fall forward 2 yards. Pats could not stop him.
        .
        It was a brain dead play, and there was plenty of time to execute a run play, then line up to run a third down play before calling a TO, if a 4th down was needed.

      2. It didn’t have to be just Lynch. They could also have ran a QB sneak. I get what you’re saying about the players executing, but if they called a run, they would have won if they executed it properly too. Using the execution logic, no coach can ever make a bad decision. When Belichick went for it on 4th down deep in his own territory against the Colts many years ago, it would have worked if all 11 players executed. Was that a good play call? Is there any play call that you consider to be bad?

      3. I haven’t watched that goal line play again, but my memory tells me that it was mostly Butler anticipating and making the play on the ball that resulted in the interception. Wilson’s pass was not great but was catchable, if Butler doesn’t anticipate the pass. That was a very quick play and if Butler hadn’t anticipated (guessed) what was going to happen, the pass would have been most likely caught for the score. Anyway, that’s what I remember.

        1. Cubus,

          The pass was catchable, but it was one or two feet in front and shoulder high. It should’ve been right on his body and waste high or lower. That way, if the receiver doesn’t catch the ball, it will almost invariably be incomplete.

          It was a great play by Butler and Browner but it was also a bad pass by Wilson.

    3. If they made it the press writes the story of how Carroll was a genius for fooling Belichick. And that’s how plays in the press 100% of the time. It’s nothing but post hoc rationalization and a narrative fallacy.

  26. What happened to Bay Area Sports Guy? That site has had less and less new material, now it is officially stale. Too bad, the writing is good when there is writing…

  27. Grant,

    A pair of eights is, in fact, an excellent hand to move all in with when you’re short stacked in Hold ‘Em.

    You’re crushing any pair lower than eights.

    You’re slightly ahead to crushing any unpaired hand, even AK suited.

    The only hands you fear are pairs higher than eights, of which, there are six (9 9, 10 10, JJ, QQ, KK and AA). This is called “getting your money in bad”.

    There are six ways to make any given pair. This means there are 36 hands that 8 8 fears (6 x 6 = 36) when all in, playing Hold ‘Em.

    There are 1326 different combinations of starting hands in Hold ‘Em (52 x 51 x 1/2 = 1326).

    36 out of 1326, or less than 3%.

    Another way to look at it, is there are 169 different hands (e.g., AK suited can be made four ways, but counts as one distinct hand type, since it’s strength isn’t dependent upon suit) and six hands that crush 8 8, or 6 out of 169, or a little over 3.5%.

    Using a pair of eights in hold ’em as a way of saying we don’t know if Shanahan and Lynch are any good is a really terrible example. Even if not short stacked, 8 8 is a very good starting hand. When short stacked, it becomes an outstanding starting hand in Hold ‘Em.

      1. I’ve got sources that told me Mike Nolan said that when he saw Alex open the car door for his mom, he knew that was the quarterback he wanted. About two weeks afterward, Nolan admitted there was no clear rhyme or reason for choosing between the two quarterbacks, but went with Smith because Rodgers was “too cocky.” Nolan was a real tool with an overrated defensive mind. The best thing he did for this franchise was win over Cowboy with the helicopter ride….

        1. let’s not forget the issues Nolan had with Rattay, he must have thought Alex would have been easier to control/manipulate…

      2. one pronouncement of sir seb’s I can agree with…especially maddening with the potential of McCarthy as OC….but Nolan was an albatross ’round the neck of any offensive success, as he was for the rest of his era (as was Singletary for his era as well)….seems that Mike & Mike wanted to use OC’s that were kryptonite to 9ers during the 90’s– Turner/Martz, etc…..What did Nolan & Singletary have against using WCO ?

        1. I still believe that once Dr. York had to figure out the replacement for Erickson, who was Donahue’s pick, and by implication, Walsh’s as well.
          Nolan sold the good doctor a tale of purging the “whole Walsh thing” while bringing the franchise back to the playoffs, the brute force way….not the “finesse” way.

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